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Help finalizing college list?

soccergirl451soccergirl451 Posts: 98Registered User Junior Member
edited November 2012 in College Search & Selection
I'm currently a senior and, after an laborious day of research yesterday, have finally narrowed my college list down to 12 schools (3* of which I'm definitely applying to). Anyway, I'm hoping you guys can help me narrow that list down further, in part by designating each school on my list as a safety, match, or reach.

My stats:
Class Rank: 2 of 296 (uncompetitive school, unweighted rank)
Cumulative GPA: 3.978 (unweighted)
SAT Reasoning: 2030 - CR: 650, M: 610, W: 770 (one sitting & composite; 1720 1st try)
SAT Subject: Chemistry: 690, Math II: taking December
Intended Major(s): Exercise Science, Neuroscience

I can provide more info. about ECs, coursework, etc. too, if that would be of help.

My college list:
Washington State University* (I already know this one's a safety, lol)
Willamette University*
Skidmore College*
Rice University
Occidental College
Seattle University
Baldwin Wallace University
St. Lawrence University
Wake Forest University
University of Scranton
College of William & Mary
Ithaca College

And thanks in advanced!
Post edited by soccergirl451 on
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Replies to: Help finalizing college list?

  • snarlatronsnarlatron Posts: 615Registered User Member
    To be helpful we need to know much more about what you are looking for in a college such as preferred region, financial need, size, Greek/No Greek, Campus Vibe, etc. A handful of your stats doesn't give us much to go on.
  • soccergirl451soccergirl451 Posts: 98Registered User Junior Member
    @snarlatron Most of my research narrowed my list down to colleges with what I'd like in a college, so I didn't even think to include that info. here, but here you go:

    Location: no major preference, but most the schools on my list are West or East Coast.
    Size: Small to Medium (~2,000-7,000)
    Financial Need: great (most likely a very low EFC)
    Greeks: low greek presence. no pressure to drink/party/etc.
    Campus Vibe: Liberal, open-minded, laid back student body. Student that are big into soccer would be a super-bonus, but it's not a deal breaker (nor very likely anyway :p)
    Other: A school with both men & women's varsity or club soccer, and also intramural. Internships and networking should be great, if not excellent. Study abroad opportunities, even for students with my intended majors. A variety of food options is important, as I don't eat red or dark meat.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Posts: 19,255Registered User Senior Member
    What is your budget?

    Have you verified that at each of these institutions you have a reasonable possibility of receiving enough aid to make it affordable?

    No financially safe institutions on your list? Spend some time in the Financial Aid Forum and read through the threads on Guaranteed Merit-Based Aid. Your stats would get you full-rides at some institutions but the application cut-off dates could be December 1.
  • soccergirl451soccergirl451 Posts: 98Registered User Junior Member
    @happymomof1 I'm not really sure how to answer the first question, to be honest. I should probably also mention I'm first generation. As for financially safe schools, WSU & SU are probably those, since I applied for the College Bound WA scholarship in 8th and will likely qualify after submitting my FAFSA. By using CB's "paying" data for each college, most colleges on my list meet ~70-100% of demonstrated need and aid is ~70-80% by scholarships/grants.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Posts: 19,255Registered User Senior Member
    How much money is your family truly ready, willing, and able to pay? If they won't be able to pay anything, then google EFC formula 2014, print out the PDF of the formula, and work through it to find out your FAFSA EFC. That is the minimum that the colleges and universities will expect you to pay. Your aid package will probably include the federal loans, so you can't count on using your loans to cover part of your EFC.

    Unfortunately, even if the institution meets all of the need that it believes your family has with grant money, that can still leave an unaffordable gap for your family.

    I'm not familiar with your state's programs. Find out how close they will come to covering all of your expenses. Remember that tuition, fees, room, board, books & materials are most of it, but you will also have personal expenses for things like laundry, pizza, cell phone, overdue book fines, transportation, etc. But those into your budget too.
  • zobrowardzobroward Posts: 1,559Registered User Senior Member
    wake forest is amazing but is frat heavy.
    did you look at st olaf or hendrix college?
  • whenhenwhenhen Posts: 3,981Registered User Senior Member
    University of Puget Sound is another good one. Many people that consider Willamette also take a look at UPS, and with your stats you'd almost certainly be given their highest merit award. It has a fairly large greek population, but from what I've read and heard from my tour guide, it's a no pressure greek system. The overwhelming majority of students are not involved and the greeks at UPS would get scorned by the stereotypical frat guys you'd probably find at schools like University of Mississippi.
  • soccergirl451soccergirl451 Posts: 98Registered User Junior Member
    @zobroward I haven't looked at either of those, so I'll check them out. Would you say Wake Forest's greek life is overbearing? Is it similar to a typical greek system, or is it more laid back and no so imposing?

    @whenhen I actually did look at UPS, but my interest faded when I saw the greek stats. But hearing that it's no pressure changes my mind a bit. I might consider giving it a visit to ask current students. Thanks!

    Aside from other suggestions, could I get some help with which of these colleges are safety, match, and reach schools? I don't want to rely on myself for deciding that, since I'm less knowledgable about colleges than most CCers.
  • soccergirl451soccergirl451 Posts: 98Registered User Junior Member
    Does this seem like an accurate placement of each school? Is there any you would change?

    Safety:
    Washington State University
    Puget Sound University
    Ithaca College
    Baldwin Wallace University
    University of Scranton

    Match:
    Seattle University
    Skidmore College
    Willamette University
    Occidental College
    St. Lawrence University

    Reach:
    College of William & Mary
    St. Olaf College
    Wake Forest University
    Rice University
  • LonghaulLonghaul Posts: 2,305Registered User Senior Member
    Please - do NOT ignore the financial aspect.

    W & M give very little aid for OOS

    Oxy, even though they meet full need, calculates Need very different than other schools on my son's list. We ran the Net Price Calculator from each school's website. Oxy was $20,000/yr net cost higher for us then some other schools.

    There is no sense in applying if the cost can not be paid.

    SLU gives merit up to full tuition - That one is certainly worth applying to.
  • soccergirl451soccergirl451 Posts: 98Registered User Junior Member
    I understand the financial aspects must be concerned when I ultimately narrow down my list. However, I don't want to narrow my list down to a bunch of reach colleges, with no matches or safeties, or other like scenarios. Hence why I'm asking for help determining which of these schools are safeties, matches, and reaches, so that I can assess which ones are the best fits (financially, academically, etc.).
  • soccergirl451soccergirl451 Posts: 98Registered User Junior Member
    Anyone willing to give their two cents on which of these schools are safety/match/reach for me? It would be much appreciated.
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Posts: 19,208Super Moderator Senior Member
  • barrk123barrk123 Posts: 3,457Registered User Senior Member
    Washington State University* (I already know this one's a safety, lol)
    Willamette University*- match
    Skidmore College* - reach
    Rice University- reach
    Occidental College- low match
    Seattle University- low match
    Baldwin Wallace University- safety
    St. Lawrence University- match
    Wake Forest University- reach (may want to go test optional here?)
    University of Scranton- safety
    College of William & Mary- high match/low reach
    Ithaca College- safety
  • scmom12scmom12 Posts: 1,529Registered User Senior Member
    You're a senior? Have you already applied to any of these? Be sure to check deadlines...some might have Dec. 1 deadlines if you want to be eligible for scholarships. Don't know a lot of these schools. Wake Forest is very good but very expensive.
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